Close to its inauguration, a bridge in Seoni in Madhya Pradesh, which was built a month ago, was washed away after raging floodwater was released from the gates of the Bheemgarh dam.
Constructed on Wainganga river, August 30 was the official completion date for the bridge -- the day it collapsed.
The 150-metre high structure was built at a cost of Rs 3.12 crores under the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana (PMGSY). It was located about 350 km from state capital Bhopal.
Though the bridge had not been inaugurated, locals had started using it. Now, they will face further hardship.
The bridge was built by a Bhopal-based company. Waingana river, a key tributary of the Godavari, originates in Seoni district and also flows in Maharashtra. Some villagers claimed that the surging river was flowing over the bridge at the time of the incident. Nonetheless, the pillars of the bridge had withstood the onslaught.
Marooned villagers in flood-affected areas of Somalwada in Sehore were airlifted by the Indian Air Force as swollen rivers continued to inundate large parts of Madhya Pradesh. "Floods have caused havoc in more than 394 villages in nine districts of Madhya Pradesh. So far, around 8,000 people have been rescued and ferried to safety,’’ CM Shivraj Chouhan said. At the moment, the administration is paying full attention to the Narmada river and its tributaries; incidentally, heavy rains are likely to continue in parts of the state for the next 48 hours.